Confessions of a Union Organizer

Exploiting Weakness

Exploiting Weakness

It is no secret that I was once the “enemy”. I spent many hours persuading employees to “believe” that the union was the key solution for all of their problems. Now that I run a company that goes toe-to-toe with very same unions I once collaborated with, I am always asked how employees go from being upset about issues (or concerns) to calling a union organizer for “a voice”. Have you ever wondered how a union organizer gets the workers so emotional that they will do almost anything to defy their company to the point of being insubordinate to management? There are a few principles that have to take place before an organizer can get their teeth into your workers minds.

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Unions Are Digging In

Unions Are Digging In

Unions have been taking a more aggressive approach at organizing since Craig Becker has been selected to head the NLRB. My contacts from inside the AFL/CIO and Change to Win organizations tell me that they are instructing their affiliates that they want to cause a “perfect storm” inside the NLRB on a national level and create a severe backlog of ULP’s and EEOC cases to frustrate companies and create a political foundation to try to push forward changes in labor organizing law.

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Gauging Potential Success:

Gauging Potential Success:

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Is the union paying employees to partake in the internal Union Organizing Committee?

Why are they so angry and passionately against our company?

While working with management teams in efforts to educate employees on the realities and dangers of union membership, I am often asked these two questions. My response to them is that if the union needed to pay the organizing committee to organize, they had no chance in winning the election.

One of the major reasons employees seek unions is because they don’t feel they have any ownership or a real say in their workplace.

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Where There is Smoke There is Fire

Where There is Smoke There is Fire

Smokescreens and Sabotage

Organizing tactics and strategies affect every aspect of the union. During my organizing days, everything my team and I did were carefully calculated to influence the way future campaigns would be run. These days, while teaching management training courses, I mention how we took a “victory by any means necessary” approach. One of the most common questions I receive is “why would a union want to destroy a company when all it is doing is hurting their own members who won’t have a job if the company closes”.

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The Art of Manipution

The Art of Manipution

When Minds Blend Into One

A skilled union organizer masters the psychology behind “mass persuasion”. These mind games are an important tool in the organizers arsenal.

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The Butcher and the Sheep

The Butcher and the Sheep

The Art of Manipulation

In the world of “the union” organizing is a game played to win, to succeed by any means necessary. Empty promises made and lies are told. The workers believe in the organizer like a sheep led to pasture by the butcher. They want to believe, they need to believe.

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The Turning Point

The Turning Point

The location could be anywhere with any union. There are rules that even a top-level union official cannot control. After reading previous “Confessions”, and though it may be hard for you to believe, I did find some lines I didn’t want to cross. In some way I believe that what you are about to read was a turning point in my extensive career on the union side, and possibly even one of the most influential reason for my confessions.

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Using Empowerment Zones to My Advantage

Using Empowerment Zones to My Advantage

Looking for new tactics to utilize in an organizers quest to recruit new members is the number one goal of every good organizing department.

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Dumpster Diving

Dumpster Diving

Turning Trash into Gold

Most people try to separate work from family. It’s one of those things that most Americans have trouble doing. We all know that it is important to keep work where it belongs, at work. This, of course, was not the case for me. I actually used people’s families to my advantage in order to succeed in heated union campaigns. I sat in front of worker’s homes in the middle of the night. I knew what school’s my potential ‘victims’ children attended. But there is one event that will forever be in my mind.

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How An Organizer Gets Signatures

How An Organizer Gets Signatures

Holding meetings was and always will be a essential task for a effective union organizer. For me these meetings were mandatory in order to be effective and a requirement for all the employees who wanted unions. They may not have known that the meetings were “required” initially, but learned quickly that it was easier to attend than to get a visit from my team. These meetings were my way of gathering the masses with one objection. My goal was to get them to sign a petition or check cards to organize.

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Salting – How Deep is Deep?

Salting – How Deep is Deep?

The union organizer, by definition, is a type of trade union member who is sometimes elected, but more often than not, specifically appointed to their role. They “recruit” workers under the “organizing model.” Sometimes, the union organizer’s role is to enforce work rules and act as shop steward.

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Immigrant Workforce – An Easy Target

Immigrant Workforce – An Easy Target

All of the tactics used to sway the employees to unionize were based on deception, but there were specific times in my career when that deception reached levels that were most shocking.

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